Being Present

Cloe, my beloved cat, has an endearing habit of wanting me or my husband to watch and stroke her whilst she eats. At 14 years old she’s capable of helping herself to the food left out for her. She manages fine when we go out for the day. But when we’re at home she prefers to be watched. We watch over her and give affection as it fills us with happiness. 
Watching Cloe this morning helped me focus my thoughts on what it means to be present in my work . . . or anything else for that matter.
At the beginning of this year I set a one word intention to deepen my way to be more present in my work. I decided this would be on all levels - physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Quite quickly I stopped writing blog posts. I beat myself up a little over this. I worried I wasn’t sharing knowledge to inspire others – something that matters to me. I say a little, as I quickly fell into the thick of work as more clients showed up than before. These new clients made a commitment to long term coaching help, they bought coaching programs, organised workshop numbers amongst their circle of contacts, and recommended me to friends and loved ones. This all keeps me deliciously busy. Moreover, the clients have been such a joy to work with. They are eager, focused, and making rapid deep progress.
Looking back, my decision to be present to what really matters to me in the moment led to this success. I found myself entering into more meaningful working-relationships with people who love sharing how helpful they continue to find our work. There were even people I’ve never met who are making powerful recommendations - I still haven’t a clue how a local medical doctor found out about my work to send me clients. This ripple of energy from a small circle of folks continues to grow outwards. At the same time I have kept my focus on being present with the people showing up because it made me feel happy. 
Being present in your business or career doesn’t have to involve mass PR so that thousands of people know your work. Some coaches will advise you to tweet, post, and write regularly so that you drum up business. If that feels like activity filled with strain, then you’re likely to bring that same mindset to your business relations. Prospects will consciously or unconsciously relate your work with effort and struggle. 
Instead, cultivating a small but deep network of relationships can deliver all the work and results you need. This is because you’re offering your sincere focus and time.
Here are 3 suggestions on how to allow real presence to fill your work:
  1. Does the action you’re about to take feel fun? When you’re motivated through enjoyment you’re more alert, and so more present with another. That level of relaxed attention is what clients and colleagues are looking for. For example, during the London Olympics gold medallists Usain Bolt and Mo Farrah playfully traded gestures on winning races on the same evening. In the moment they played directly to a global audience in their millions. They created perhaps the photo of the games.  It's an image I'll never forget.
  2. Let go of multi-tasking. On paper you may achieve more by juggling many tasks. But you’re only dividing your focus and that will be seen in how attentive you are. Doing one task at a time will lead to more quality output than having your efforts scattered thinly. Being fully present is such a rare commodity that your focus will stand out all the more. For example, in a recent workshop I gave, one participant commented that she felt deeply heard because I gave her my undivided attention. Presence becomes memorable for all the right reasons.
  3. Where you feel obliged to do a task, find ways to bring in a sense of relief before you take action. That feeling will filter through to a better response and inspiration. Before finishing this article, I was e-mailing a client to let her know about a change to one of my workshops.  I was worried how she might react and got caught up in being present to my fears. I wasn’t focused on being of service to her. I did some EFT to feel relaxed about my e-mail, and let go of the need to manage the experience for another. I can only be responsible for how I feel and do my best to offer value.  The response that I got back is that she's fine with the change.
Health in Mind viewpoint – when you offer your powerful undivided presence in your work you are offering a gift. It’s a valuable commodity that will find you being in more demand in your work.

Article Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2012


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